On Thursday September 15, in the library smart room, UH Maui will hold an annual Constitution Day event by screening ‘Rise Of The Wahine’ and providing free pizza! The film documents Patsy Mink, the first Asian-American congress woman and takes place in the 1970’s as women battle discrimination and the right of women to play sport in the halls of Washington D.C. But what is Constitutions Day?
Constitutions Day represents the day the U.S. constitution was first signed on September 17, 1787. This casually celebrated event is of historical importance in America. We don’t have days off for this, but colleges all over America hold constitution day events at this time as a meaningful and historical learning celebration. This years Constitution event at UH Maui will highlight the 30th anniversary of Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, which prohibits gender discrimination in all schools and institutions across the country. A film screening of ‘Rise Of The Wahine’ which documents the involvement of Patsy Mink and the rainbow Wahine volley ball team in battling discrimination against women in school sports and activities.
The Event administrator, instructor Mike Ryan, who teaches history here at UHMC, relayed to me why it its so important for students to be involved and aware of these types of historically commemorating events.
But how does one go about making change? How do we strive to make the constitution a more perfect union? Amending the constitution is not an easy task, which again begs the question why? Germany for example updates their constitution regularly with the changing times. Shouldn’t a constitution be a living document which can be easily changeable towards the pursuits of justice and liberty for all? First, just a basic awareness of the constitution itself and what it says is important to know. For example, the fact that there are no female pronouns in the constitution at all. Why hasn’t this been updated in this day and age? Mike Ryan says the best way to make change is to elect officials who care about making change for the better. This is what will be depicted in ‘Rise Of The Wahine’ with Patsy Mink, Americas first Asian-American woman in congress battles with the rainbow Wahine volley ball team against discrimination. Mike believes that one change that should be made to the constitution is that there should be a cap on political funds for campaign. If each official were only allotted the same amount of money for campaigning, then maybe the election would be more fair and allow the people more involvement. Today, its the norm for the wealthiest official to win basically because he has more reach. This isn’t always whats truly best for the people, but favors the big names and corporate leaders.
In 2021, UHMC celebrated Constitution & Citizenship Day by producing a podcast from UHMC faculty members Michael Ryan and Liana Horovitz. The theme of the podcast was the “History of Womenʻs Suffrage in the United States,” in commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
Don’t miss out on celebrating a historical event in the present, and getting a bit more acquainted with what it takes to make change. After all, that should be the end goal. Watch the screening of ‘Rise Of The Wahine’ and enjoy a slice of pizza, on us! Just taking part in these casual yet informational events gets us as a people one step closer to making the changes we all need.